BNSF Nemadji River Bridge (N)

Warren Deck Truss Bridge over Nemadji River
Saunders, Douglas County, Wisconsin

Click the Photo Above to See All Photos of This Bridge!
Name BNSF Nemadji River Bridge (N)
Built By Great Northern Railway
Contractor Unknown
Currently Owned By BNSF Railway
Length 1,740 Feet Total; 90 Foot Largest Span
Width 1 Track
Height Above Ground 60 Feet (Estimated)
Type Warren Deck Truss, Deck Girder Trestle and Concrete T-Girder
Date Built 1899, Approaches Rebuilt 1906 and 2009
Traffic Count 2 Trains/Day (Estimated)
Current Status In Use
In 1892, the St. Paul, Minneapolis & Manitoba Railway opened up a line from Saunders, Wisconsin to Allouez Bay, a short stub of about 5 miles.

The line started from the lines south to the Twin Cities and west to Grand Forks. It would head due east, crossing the Nemadji River and Crawford Creek on large bridges. It would then enter the harbor area.

In 1907, the StPM&M became the Great Northern Railway, who controlled several lines around Minnesota.

The line was still in favor for hauling non-ore commodities to the Superior Port.

When Great Northern merged with their main competetor, Northern Pacific in 1970, the line became part of Burlington Northern.

BN merged with Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe to form BNSF Railway in 1996. Today, BNSF still operates the line, which is largely unchanged since the GN days.

This bridge is the harder bridge of the two in Saunders to access.

When I visited this bridge, I walked on the frozen river from the CN Bridge Upstream

The bridge is well worth the visit though. I got lost at one point, and ended up walking quite a distance on the ice in the area, but the access was unforgettable.
The bridge clearly is interesting. The main truss span, which is a 150 foot 6 panel warren deck truss with riveted connections, approached by 35 spans of deck girder supported by steel towers to the east, and several spans of concrete T-Girder to the west.

The west approach is the most interesting part of the bridge. The concrete girders are stamped 2009, but there are remains from steel towers and a single pier. This leads me to believe the west approach was damaged and replaced.
The main deck truss is much more heavier built than a typical 1890s bridge. It is unknown which (if any) contractor(s) were responsible for this bridge.

The photo above is an overview of the river spans.

Nemadji River Railroad Bridges

Upstream CN Nemadji River Bridge (S)
Downstream CN Nemadji River Bridge (N)

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